In 1990, Japan agreed to provide financial support for IMF technical assistance (TA) to its member countries to strengthen their capacity to formulate, implement, and maintain macro-economic and structural adjustment programs. Since then, Japan has continued to be the largest single contributor to the IMF’s technical assistance and training activities. Japan’s contributions are provided through the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA).1 In addition, Japan finances two scholarship programs—one under the JSA and another under a separate subaccount.

JSA Annual Report Fiscal Year 2009

In 1990, Japan agreed to provide financial support for IMF technical assistance (TA) to its member countries to strengthen their capacity to formulate, implement, and maintain macro-economic and structural adjustment programs. Since then, Japan has continued to be the largest single contributor to the IMF’s technical assistance and training activities. Japan’s contributions are provided through the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA).1 In addition, Japan finances two scholarship programs—one under the JSA and another under a separate subaccount.

This report starts with a brief description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its TA activities. The report then describes in greater detail the JSA—including its scope and objectives, the size and uses of the TA contribution, and assessments of its TA activities and scholarship programs—with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2009.2

The IMF: Purpose and Activities

The IMF, which currently has 186 member countries,3 was established in 1946 to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements; to provide temporary financial assistance to countries with balance of payments difficulties; and to foster sustainable economic growth. To achieve these objectives, the IMF undertakes three main functions: surveillance, financial assistance, and technical assistance.

Surveillance is the process by which the IMF maintains a policy dialogue with each of its members and appraises country and global macroeconomic conditions. It regularly appraises members’ exchange rate policies within the overall framework of their economic policies in what are known as Article IV consultations. The IMF also carries out multilateral surveillance, the results of which are summarized in the World Economic Outlook and in the Global Financial Stability Report, both of which are published twice a year.

Financial assistance includes providing credits and loans to member countries with balance of payments problems so that they can restore conditions for financial and macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth. The financial assistance provided by the IMF enables countries to rebuild their international reserves, stabilize their currencies, and continue paying for imports without having to impose trade restrictions or capital controls. The IMF makes its financial resources available to its members through a variety of financial facilities, including concessional assistance and debt relief targeted at low-income members.4

Technical assistance consists of expertise and training provided to member countries to help them strengthen their human and institutional capacity and design and implement effective macroeconomic and structural policies. The IMF offers TA in its areas of core expertise: fiscal policy and management, monetary policy and financial systems, and macroeconomic and financial statistics. See Box 1 for a list of the core areas of IMF technical assistance.5

IMF Technical Assistance: Demand and Supply

The IMF began to provide technical assistance in the early 1960s in response to requests from newly independent nations in Africa and Asia. By the mid-1980s, resources devoted to technical assistance had substantially increased. As a result of the expansion of the IMF’s membership and the adoption of market-oriented economies by a large number of countries worldwide, IMF TA activities grew even more rapidly in the early 1990s. Demand increased further in the late 1990s as significant TA resources had to be directed to countries affected by financial crises and to meet the needs of countries emerging from conflict.

Over the years, the IMF’s TA program has had to respond to a number of new initiatives that have changed the overall demand on its resources. As part of this evolution, resources have been devoted to helping countries build capacity for their anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) efforts; helping countries adopt and adhere to international standards and codes for financial, fiscal, and statistical management; helping low-income countries formulate and implement poverty reduction strategies; and helping heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) design and manage debt reduction programs and strengthen public expenditure management for effective tracking of poverty-reducing expenditures.

Core Areas of IMF Technical Assistance

Fiscal Policy and Management

Tax policy

Tax and customs administration

Expenditure policy

Budgeting and public expenditure management

Fiscal management

Fiscal federalism

Macroeconomic and Financial Statistics

Multisector statistical issues

Balance of payments and external debt statistics

Government finance statistics

Monetary and financial statistics

National accounts and price statistics

Data dissemination standards

Monetary Policy and Financial Systems

Central banking and currency arrangements

Monetary and exchange policy operations, and public debt management

Financial market development, focusing particularly on money, government debt, and foreign exchange markets

Exchange systems and currency convertibility Payment systems Bank supervision and regulation Bank restructuring and banking safety nets

Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism

The IMF’s technical assistance is delivered mainly by its Fiscal Affairs Department, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, Statistics Department, and Legal Department, but overall TA policy and coordination are handled by the Office of Technical Assistance Management (OTM) in consultation with other IMF departments. OTM is also responsible for mobilizing and managing external finance for this area of IMF activity.

Technical assistance is delivered in a variety of ways. IMF staff from headquarters may visit member countries to advise government officials on specific issues, or the IMF may provide specialists on a short- or long-term basis. Training is provided primarily by the IMF Institute at headquarters, in recipient countries, and through regional training institutes.6 Box 2 describes JSA-funded IMF training in FY2009.

Since 1993, the IMF has provided an increasing amount of its technical assistance through Regional Technical Assistance Centers (RTACs). Currently, there are seven RTACs; the latest, the Central America, Panama and Dominican Republic Regional Technical Assistance Center (CAPTAC-DR) in Guatemala City, Guatemala, was inaugurated in June 2009.7 Experience with this regional approach to TA delivery has been very positive and the IMF plans to establish three additional regional TA centers in the near future—two more in Africa, and one in Central Asia.

The IMF directly finances technical assistance with a quarter of its annual operating budget allocated to TA work and training. Although a large part of TA continues to be financed from the IMF’s internal resources, external financing from bilateral and multilateral partners has become increasingly important in recent years—particularly in financing TA field delivery. In FY2009, external financing from bilateral and multilateral donor partners accounted for more than two-thirds of TA delivered in the field.8 Although the number of bilateral and multilateral partners has increased significantly in recent years, Japan continues to be the largest single source of external financing. In FY2009, JSA financing accounted for about one-third of total external financing and more than one-fifth of IMF TA delivered in the field. Figure 1 shows the JSA’s share of the financing of IMF field-delivered technical assistance over FY2000-FY2009.

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

JSA Share of Financing of Capacity Building Delivered in the Field, FY2000-FY2009

(In percent)

JSA-Financed Training

The JSA provided about $2.2 million in support of the IMF Institute training program in FY2009. This funding helped cover the costs of the participants attending Institute training and of the experts delivering the training. Through these channels, the JSA contributed to the implementation of 42 training courses, of which 31 were delivered by Institute staff and consultants and 11 by other IMF departments. In total, 818 participants benefited from this JSA funding, receiving a total of 1,528 participant-weeks of training. Eighty-two percent of this training went to Asian participants, with the balance to officials from Africa.

The training delivered by the Institute fell into two broad categories:

  • Seven courses were on financial programming and policies or similar topics. Such courses have long been a central feature of the Institute curriculum and aim at extending participants’ understanding of the design and implementation of macroeconomic and financial policies, drawing on IMF experience in economic surveillance, the design of financial programs, and the provision of technical advice to member countries.

  • The remaining 24 courses were more specialized macroeconomic courses developed in recent years to address the evolving training needs of member countries. These included courses on macroeconomic management and fiscal policy, macroeconomic management and financial sector issues, macroeconomic forecasting, macro-economic and debt issues, macroeconomic diagnostics, financial markets analysis, financial markets and new financial instruments, monetary and exchange rate policy, and external vulnerabilities.

The courses delivered by other IMF departments included

  • Five delivered by the Statistics Department, focusing on balance of payments statistics, government finance statistics, monetary and financial statistics, price statistics, and quarterly national accounts.

  • One delivered by the Finance Department on safeguards assessments of central banks.

  • One delivered by the Monetary and Capital Markets Department on reserve management.

  • Four delivered by the Legal Department: courses on (1) financial transactions for lawyers and (2) legal aspects of international financial institutions, and AML/CFT workshops on (3) Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) for financial analysis and (4) FIU cooperation and exchange of information.

The Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities

Activities Funded: Technical Assistance, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and Scholarship Programs

Japan has provided grant contributions to support IMF technical assistance to member countries since 1990. In 1997, the scope of the administered account was widened to allow for financing other IMF activities in Asia and the Pacific, carried out through the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo.

The responsibilities of the Regional Office in Tokyo include collaborative efforts between the IMF and Japan that strengthen economic prospects in the Asia-Pacific region, and also include support of various regional policy forums, such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Pacific Islands Forum. The office also undertakes TA activities benefiting countries in the region, including conferences on macroeco-nomic policy and on financial sector reform. The Regional Office helps to improve understanding of the international financial system in Japan and the region through public relations events and by releasing Japanese-language publications. It also seeks to increase the representation of Japanese and other Asian nationals on the staff of the IMF by encouraging qualified applicants to apply for IMF employment and by supporting IMF recruitment efforts through interviews and informational seminars. In addition, Japan provides grant contributions for two scholarship programs—the Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies and the Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia.

The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies, administered by the IMF. Institute, was established in 1996. It supports nationals of Asian member countries of the IMF who undertake doctoral studies in economics in North America to pursue a career either in international financial institutions such as the IMF or in their respective governments. The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia, established in 1993, supports 12- and 24-month courses of graduate study in Japan in macroeconomics or related fields for students from Asia, Central Asia, and the Pacific and is administered by the Regional Office in Tokyo.

Level of Funding

Since 1990, Japan has made annual contributions totaling about $326 million, of which $298 million has been for TA projects and the activities of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and $28 million has been for the Asia Scholarship Program. In addition, since 1996, Japan has contributed more than $19 million to the Japan Advanced Scholarship Program. Annual contribution figures for technical assistance and the two scholarship programs, for FY1990-FY2009, are provided in Table 1. Figure 2 shows the annual contributions for technical assistance under the JSA since its inception.

Table 1.

Contributions by Japan, FY1990-FY2009

(In millions of U.S. dollars)

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includes activities of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Annual Contributions by Japan for Technical Assistance, FY1990-FY2009

(In millions of U.S. dollars)

Japan-IMF Consultations

Regular consultations are held between the IMF and the Japanese authorities; the most recent formal meeting took place in April 2009. Consultations cover (1) the effectiveness of the assistance provided with JSA funding, (2) the expected regional and subject area use of JSA resources in the current fiscal year and the targets for the following fiscal year, (3) the likely costs of project inputs, (4) the anticipated level of Japan’s future contribution to the JSA, (5) the organization of joint field visits by the Japanese authorities and the IMF, and (6) any issues that may arise in the upcoming period. The consultations also provide a venue to discuss developments regarding the IMF TA program as a whole. IMF staff also visit Tokyo from time to time for more detailed discussions with the Japanese authorities on the JSA and related matters.

Technical Assistance Funded by the JSA

The use of JSA resources is flexible. JSA funds can be used to cover the cost of short- and long-term TA experts and other costs associated with conducting seminars and workshops, such as room rental fees. While JSA funds are not conditional on the use of Japanese nationals, Japanese experts are considered for assignments wherever possible. The Japanese authorities place highest priority on funding TA activities in Central Asia and in Asia and the Pacific, but JSA-financed TA activities take place in all regions. Consistent with IMF TA policy, the Japanese authorities place high priority on assistance for countries that have demonstrated strong efforts and good track records in implementing economic reform policies.

The main focus of the JSA TA program has been to support low-and lower-middle-income countries as they build the institutions and capacity needed to implement growth-enhancing policies. In terms of subject areas, the use of JSA resources reflects the priorities of IMF TA. Examples of JSA-supported activities are given in Boxes 3-6.

Project submission and approval

Activities to be funded from the JSA are tightly integrated within the overall IMF TA planning process to ensure close alignment between IMF surveillance and lending activities and the key priorities of each country. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the IMF provides Japan with an indicative list of projects that it intends to submit for consideration in the course of the year. The indicative list contains projects that reflect the shared reform objectives of beneficiary countries and the IMF. Thereafter, individual projects are submitted for approval on a monthly basis through the Office of Japan’s Executive Director at the IMF. Going forward, and fully consistent with the evolving IMF TA strategy, Japan is giving increased emphasis to the development of TA programs that have longer-term objectives.

IMF TA is provided upon the request of member countries. These requests are evaluated by the relevant functional and area departments of the IMF and prioritized using Regional Strategy Notes (RSNs). These strategy notes are developed by each area department in consultation with the functional departments and country authorities.9 The RSNs set out the IMF’s medium-term TA strategy for both countries and regions. RSNs are a key input to planning and help optimize resource allocations, plan resource mobilization, and improve coordination with other TA providers and donors. RSNs are approved by the IMF Committee on Capacity Building, a high-level committee convened to organize Fund policy work and allocate resources in relation to capacity building.

Liberia: Reform of the Public Financial Management System

Concerted and sustained technical assistance is helping post-conflict Liberia reestablish order in its public financial management system.

Liberia’s public financial management (PFM) system had suffered from neglect prior to and during the long years of civil war. Following the peace accords in 2003, an IMF Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) mission, in collaboration with the World Bank and other donors, recommended urgent measures to regain control over public finances. Weak staff capacities and continued corruption during the transitional government period led donors, including the IMF, to institute cosignatory arrangements at key stages of the budget execution process, as well as in key public corporations. A follow-up mission in 2006 reviewed progress and recommended further short-term measures to strengthen commitment control and cash management. The first post-conflict, democratically elected government placed high importance on strengthening fiscal institutions.

In 2007, a further FAD mission, in collaboration with the World Bank, made a comprehensive review of Liberia’s PFM system and set out a comprehensive three-year reform plan for PFM. The key challenges included a weak and fragmented legal framework, a basic accounting system, a non-performing internal audit service, serious shortcomings in the management of the payroll, and an absence of external audits. The mission recommended drafting a new legal framework as a top priority. The recommendations of the mission were endorsed by the World Bank’s Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability Review (issued in 2009).

During 2008, the authorities, with technical assistance provided by FAD through JSA funding, drafted a new Public Finance Management Law, which is currently in the final stages of adoption by the legislature. Follow-up technical assistance was provided to help draft the financial regulations required to implement the new law. A JSA-funded regional PFM advisor was also placed in Monrovia, with 70 percent of his time devoted to Liberia. The advisor, a Rwandan national, provides valuable practical advice in key areas of budgetary management, working closely with the Minister of Finance and his senior staff.

Since 2006, the authorities have successfully negotiated debt relief on Liberia’s nonperforming loan portfolio with both official and commercial external creditors, and Liberia is on track to reach its completion point under the HIPC Initiative in 2010. Furthermore, they have concluded agreements on initial budget support arrangements with the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Commission. Further strengthening of PFM systems, however, remains critical to reaching the HIPC completion point, as well as to any significant increases in the use of budget support. The authorities have adopted a poverty-reduction strategy and have started to develop a mediumterm framework for the budget. They have also taken a number of measures to strengthen revenue administration and to modernize legislation governing mining and forestry concessions. Finally, external audits are being undertaken again and are helping to identify areas of continued weakness in fiscal management.

More remains to be done and continued JSA-finances technical assistance will be important.

A further FAD mission in 2009 prepared a revised reform strategy for 2009-12 that focuses on six components: implementing the new legal framework, modernizing the accounting system, improving and securitizing the payroll, strengthening cash management, establishing a modern internal audit service, and implementing an integrated financial management information system. The authorities are committed to adopting the new plan, and several donors have indicated their readiness to assist in its implementation.

Project assessment and evaluation

Within four weeks of a project’s completion, or upon a request for an extension of a project, the IMF submits a project assessment to the Japanese authorities. Following project completion, the IMF solicits feedback from TA recipient institutions through a questionnaire. The feedback from these questionnaires is reviewed by the IMF to identify lessons for improving the effectiveness of IMF TA, and is also provided to the Japanese authorities.

In addition, two or three countries are visited each year by a joint Japan-IMF mission to review JSA projects. These visits provide Japan with a firsthand view of the effect of JSA funding in the field. During the visits, participants assess how the local authorities view the work of the experts funded by the JSA. The visits are also used to review whether the local authorities are making effective use of the TA and whether it is contributing to the reform process.

Commitments and disbursements

Between FY1993 and FY2009, cumulative commitments for technical assistance under the JSA totaled more than $263 million for 1,852 projects, of which some $251 million has been disbursed.10 During FY2009, $14.8 million was committed for 104 projects.11 Table 2 and Figure 3 show commitments and disbursements, as well as the number of approved TA projects, between FY1993 and FY2009.12 A brief description of each of the projects approved in FY2009 is provided in Annex 1.

Table 2.

JSA Annual Technical Assistance Commitments and Disbursements, FY1993-FY2009

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Figure 3.

JSA Annual Technical Assistance Commitments and Disbursements, FY1993-FY2009

Reforming Customs Administration in Nepal

During fiscal year 2009 JSA project financing enabled an IMF customs expert to provide an extended program of technical assistance to the Department of Customs in Nepal, resulting in the approval and adoption of a comprehensive reform and modernization plan that identifies seven critical reforms that the department intends to achieve between 2009 and 2013, and enabling work to begin on implementing the plan.

Development of the plan was a milestone achievement for the department. While the department had been making progress in customs reforms, most notably the promulgation of a new Customs Act and the upgrade and extension, with the assistance of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, of the Asycuda computer system, it lacked a comprehensive plan of action bringing together all the important measures necessary in the years ahead. Such a plan is critical both for departmental management purposes and for clarifying the highest-priority reforms that will require the future support and technical assistance of donors for their implementation.

An important factor in successfully developing the plan was the JSA financing of a series of visits by the expert, enabling him to work in a team relationship with his Nepalese counterparts and the senior management of the department and, in this way, to develop a strong shared understanding of the most important issues that needed to be addressed and the options available to address them. As a result, the department now has a high level of ownership of the reform plan, and a strong commitment to the actions necessary for its implementation.

A new Reform and Modernization Division will spearhead implementation of the reform plan. This division, headed by an experienced customs manager, worked closely with the IMF expert during the development of the plan, and will be responsible for managing all aspects of its implementation. This will be achieved by using a project management methodology that was designed by the expert and the customs team together during their preparation of the reform plan. The methodology will ensure that implementation actions, timeframes, and accountabilities are explicit; that the linkages and interdependencies between actions are clear; and therefore, that progress and achievements can be readily measured.

Implementation of the 2009-13 reform and modernization plan has already begun. Reflecting the strong commitment of the customs department’s senior management to the reform plan, a start was made immediately on two initiatives. The first of these was designed to streamline air cargo clearance procedures at the Katmandu airport and railway cargo clearance procedures at the inland office of Birgunj. These locations were selected as pilot sites to test the streamlined clearance procedures developed under the project before adopting them for implementation at other cargo clearance offices. Additionally, work was begun on the techniques to be used in assessing the risks of consignments as the basis for their selection for physical inspection by customs, which, when implemented, will reduce cargo clearance times and lower the costs incurred by traders.

The reform and modernization plan now provides the “blueprint” for improving the efficiency and performance of the department of customs over the medium-term future. The process used to prepare the reform and modernization plan enabled the Department of Customs to synthesize the many recommendations made by donors and technical assistance providers over the years into a comprehensive “blueprint” for sustainable improvements in efficiency and performance.

These improvements include both the procedural changes made possible by the new Customs Act and upgraded Asycuda computer system, and the more complex and difficult institutional reforms that the department wishes to achieve, such as changes in the structure of headquarters and the development of management systems for planning and monitoring organizational performance.

The key to the successful outcome of this project was the extended period of time (five visits of approximately three weeks each) during which the IMF expert was able to work very closely in a team relationship with his local counterparts, developing their skills in planning and project management, which will be critical to success of the reforms over the next five years.

Geographical distribution of funds

To date, 124 member countries of the IMF as well as the 13 RTACs and IMF regional training centers have been beneficiaries of JSA-funded technical assistance.13 Countries in the Asia and Pacific region received more than $90 million from the JSA for approved TA projects during FY1993-FY2008, which represents 37 percent of TA projects approved during this period.14 Countries in Africa received the next-largest share, totaling almost $60 million, or 24 percent, of total approvals during the same period. Of the remaining amount approved during this period, 16 percent was for countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe (mainly the transitional countries of the former Soviet Union), 6 percent was for multiregional projects, 6 percent for projects in Western and Central Europe, 5 percent for projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 5 percent for projects in the Middle East.15

Asia—Successful Capacity Building in Financial Supervision

Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand went through a major transformation of bank supervision in the aftermath of the Asian crisis. At around the turn of the decade, mainly spurred by the crisis, all four countries launched wide-ranging programs to overhaul bank supervision standards and practices. The details varied from country to country, reflecting the level of financial sector development and individual country circumstances. In Cambodia, for example, still suffering the consequences of a protracted war and the civil conflict that followed it, the authorities had to build the legal and regulatory framework from scratch, while at the same time restructuring and relicensing all commercial banks; in contrast, in Thailand the main goal was to introduce risk-based supervision and prepare for Basel II implementation. In all four cases, the programs were marked by the breadth of their scope, and involved a transformation of most aspects of the bank regulatory and supervisory framework.

In some countries, the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) assessments by the Fund and the World Bank helped identify areas of weaknesses in supervision. Thus, they played an important role in subsequent prioritizations of TA topics and ensured a platform for fostering donor coordination. The Philippines FSAP was completed in 2002, while the Thailand FSAP took place in the first half of 2007.

The four countries requested TA on bank supervision immediately or soon after the end of the Asian crisis. In addition to improving the soundness of the individual banking systems, the countries realized the need to converge and harmonize their supervisory practices with recognized international standards, and to achieve a level playing field within the region to enhance their competitiveness in financial intermediation, given increasing international integration. Indeed, these banking systems have consistently been identified by international rating agencies as having weaker banking systems among East Asian countries.

The TA provided to date is also expected to enhance the countries’ participation in the forthcoming FSAP assessments with the Fund and the World Bank. The Philippines FSAP Update will take place in November 2009; the Indonesia FSAP will take place in October 2009; and the Cambodia FSAP has been confirmed for March 2010.

The core method of TA delivery to these four countries has been through the use of long-term experts (LTEs), supplemented by peripatetic TA missions. Notably, a succession of LTEs have been assigned almost continuously since the authorities requested assistance. Since the beginning of the decade, nine different LTEs have been assigned in these four countries, for periods ranging from two to six years each. The total direct cost of these LTE operations has been US$6.8 million, the bulk of which has been financed through JSA, as were many of the peripatetic missions.

Overall, TA has made a substantial contribution in helping country authorities improve bank supervision. For example, a recent MCM evaluation of TA on bank supervision by LTEs in Asia—which has been largely funded through JSA—confirms that such TA has been very effective in a wide variety of bank supervision topics. The findings suggest that LTEs have been more suitable than other forms of TA in the early stages of the reform process. As the needs of a country become more specialized—and the authorities’ capacity to diagnose these needs increases—other vehicles, such as short-term expert visits, become more appropriate.

The result of many years of TA has been evident in the resilience of the banking sectors in the current global financial crisis. It has been especially manifest in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. In Cambodia, TA in banking supervision has strengthened the enforcement of prudential regulations with troubled banks. That said, the spillovers from the current global financial crisis have highlighted the remaining shortcomings in the banking systems, and more work remains to be done in strengthening supervision and regulation.

Support for the Development of an AML/CFT Risks Assessment Framework in Uruguay

Over the past 10 months, JSA financing has made possible the Fund’s assistance to the authorities of Uruguay in the development of a framework for identifying and assessing the money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risks facing the country, its institutions, and its financial services industry. This risk assessment is a key component of Uruguay’s national AML/CFT strategy. With the Fund’s guidance, the authorities have been conducting a system wide assessment of ML and TF threats and vulnerabilities. There is strong political commitment to strengthen the AML/ CFT regime in Uruguay at the highest levels. While the authorities have started to remedy a number of deficiencies identified in the 2006 assessment report, insufficient resources hinder their capacity to develop and implement the AML/CFT strategy more effectively. Based on discussions with officials and the information available, the main domestic ML threats are believed to be associated with drug trafficking, corruption, and tax evasion.

At the conclusion of this assessment, the authorities will use the results to fine tune their national strategy, redefine priorities and action plans, and redeploy resources as deemed appropriate. In addition, the output of this technical assistance may be the basis for new national legislation and institutional arrangements to address the risks identified. The work has involved designing a methodology for identifying and measuring ML/TF risk events, which Fund staff will further refine for use in other countries. The lessons learned from this project will also help improve and replicate the ML/TF risk assessment methodology and process in other countries consistent with their own AML/CFT frameworks. While the resources provided under this project have been exhausted, additional work on the risk assessment is expected to continue with financing from the AML/CFT topical trust fund, to which Japan is a donor.

The regional distribution of commitments in FY2009 was as follows: Asia and Pacific countries, $5.9 million (40 percent); Africa, $4.2 million (28 percent); the Middle East and Central Asia, $2.1 million (14 percent); Europe, $2 million (13 percent); and Latin America and the Caribbean, $0.7 million (5 percent).16 Table 3 shows the annual commitments by region in dollars for FY1993-FY2009, and Figure 4 shows the regional percentage distribution for FY2009.

Table 3.

JSA Commitments for Technical Assistance by Region, FY1993-FY2009

(Millions of U.S. dollars)

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Starting in FY2008, data for countries in Central Asia are grouped with data for countries in the Middle East; see footnote 16.

Figure 4.
Figure 4.

Distribution of JSA Annual Technical Assistance Commitments by Region, FY2009

In FY2009, about 50 percent of activities financed using JSA funds were delivered in low-income countries, while a further 36 percent took place in lower-middle-income countries. Regional capacity-building efforts (including support for RTACs) accounted for 6 percent of delivery. Table 4 shows the 10 beneficiary countries or organizations receiving the largest share of JSA assistance during FY1993-FY2009 and in FY2009. Of the 10 largest beneficiaries in FY2009, 3 were post-conflict countries: Burundi, Cambodia, and Liberia.

Table 4.

Ten Largest Recipients of JSA-Financed Technical Assistance, FY1993-FY2009

(By commitments, in descending order)

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PFTAC = Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center.

METAC = Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center.

Distribution of funds by subject area

The distribution of JSA funds across thematic areas continues to broadly reflect the distribution in the overall use of IMF resources for technical assistance. The past three years have seen a reduction in the relative use of overall IMF resources for TA in the monetary and capital markets area, and an increase in the fiscal policy and management area. This has also been the case in the use of JSA resources.

In FY2009, the IMF functional departments delivered some 197 person-years of staff and expert time for capacity-building work in recipient countries, which were distributed as follows: Fiscal Affairs, 35 percent; Monetary and Capital Markets, 33 percent; Statistics, 15 percent; and Legal, 4 percent. The IMF Institute and other departments made up the remaining 12 percent of field delivery.17 In FY2009, the distribution of JSA commitments was as follows: Fiscal Affairs $5.8 million (40 percent); Monetary and Capital Markets, $4.0 million (27 percent); Statistics, $2.8 million (19 percent); and Legal, $0.2 million (1 percent). Training activities undertaken by the IMF Institute accounted for the remaining 13 percent of commitments. This represents a 13 percent decrease in the relative amount of JSA funds committed in the monetary and capital markets area and a 10 percent increase in the fiscal area since FY2007.

In FY2009, the proportional allocation of JSA funds by topic within each of the above core areas was as follows: In fiscal affairs, 53 percent of JSA funds were committed to strengthening public expenditure management, 44 percent to revenue administration, and the remaining 3 percent to tax policy. In the monetary and capital markets area, 44 percent of JSA funds were committed to technical assistance for banking supervision, and 20 percent to central banking operations, including central bank accounting and audit; the remainder was allocated to other work, such as monetary policy and operations, balance of payments and foreign reserves management, and capital markets development and market risk supervision. In the macroeconomic statistics area, 59 percent of JSA funds were committed to national accounts statistics; the remainder was spread across the broad range of statistics including those concerning government finance, monetary and finance, and balance of payments, as well as assistance in adopting the IMF General Data Dissemination System. Table 5 shows the annual distribution of commitments in dollars by subject area for FY1993-FY2009, and Figure 5 shows the percentage distribution by subject area for FY2009.

Table 5.

JSA Annual Commitments for Technical Assistance by Subject Area, FY1993-FY2009

(Millions of U.S. dollars)

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Figure 5.
Figure 5.

Distribution of JSA Technical Assistance Commitments by Subject Area, FY2009

Effectiveness of JSA-funded technical assistance

Several approaches are used to gauge the quality and effectiveness of JSA-funded TA activities. In addition to project assessments submitted by the IMF to the Japanese authorities upon completion of each JSA-financed project, since FY2000 beneficiary authorities have also provided their own project assessments through the completion of a questionnaire regarding the appropriateness and relevance of the assistance and the JSA-pro-vided expert’s qualifications and experience. The questionnaires also cover the cooperation between the expert and his or her local counterparts, the usefulness of the advice given in terms of the reform efforts, whether adequate attention was paid to skills transfer, and the quality of supervision by IMF headquarters. Overall, the beneficiary authorities have been very positive about the effectiveness of the JSA-funded TA projects. As of January 2009, 97 percent of respondents had indicated they were satisfied with overall project delivery; of these, more than 60 percent were highly satisfied.

Since 1996, 15 joint Japan-IMF review missions have been carried out to assess the effectiveness of JSA-funded TA activities. These visits have covered 21 beneficiary countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Central Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe; the regional training institutes in Singapore and Vienna; the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center; the East Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center; and the Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center. The joint review teams have reported that TA activities financed by the JSA were highly relevant and consistent with the core mandate of the IMF’s work, were well formulated and implemented, and were appreciated by recipient governments, which in several cases noted that the JSA-funded advisors were instrumental in establishing critically needed capacity. The teams also reported that the JSA-financed training and seminars were well focused, and greatly appreciated by participants. A summary of the findings of the joint review mission for FY2009 is provided in Annex 2.

In addition to the joint field visits and project-specific assessments, JSA-funded TA activities are also evaluated as part of larger sector-wide, region-wide, or special-topic evaluations of IMF technical assistance. The results of these evaluations are reported to the IMF Executive Board 18 and can be found on the IMF website. 19

Scholarship Programs

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia

The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia is a program for graduate studies in macroeconomics or related fields at several leading universities in Japan. The program’s objective is to contribute to institutional capacity building in transition and developing economies by providing educational opportunities to promising junior officials in central banks or in ministries of finance, economy, or planning in East and Central Asia and the Pacific region.20

For academic year 2008, 30 new scholarships were awarded, and a total of 49 scholars were studying in Japan under the program.21 There are two forms of scholarships. Scholars accepted under the “partnership track” participate in specially designed master’s courses offered by one of four partnership universities,22 whereas the “open track” is available to candidates who have already been accepted to a graduate-level program, at either the master’s or doctoral level, in macroeconomics or a related field at any leading university in Japan. The program is currently administered by the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo.

The program also offers skill-refreshing courses (SRCs) to better prepare incoming scholars by offering math and English courses prior to the commencement of their regular studies at the participating universities. In 2008, 27 out of the 30 new scholars participated in the SRC conducted at the International University of Japan.

In November 2008, a committee was convened to review the program. Since the first students were accepted under the Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia in 1993, scholarships have been awarded to a total of 426 scholars, and by the end of the 2007 academic year, 366 scholars had graduated from the partnership universities. Table 6 shows the distribution of graduated scholars by their country and organizational affiliation. Most scholars have expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the program and subsequently with the career opportunities it has opened up to them. A number have taken up mid- to senior-level positions in their respective agencies, and have direct input into policy initiatives. In 2008, an alumni event was organized in the Philippines to provide former scholars with an opportunity to renew acquaintances and to maintain the alumni network.

Table 6.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia: Distribution of Graduated Scholars by Country and Affiliation, 1993–2009

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Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies

The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies (JISP), administered by the IMF Institute, began in 1996 with a class of nine scholars seeking to obtain PhDs in economics in order to pursue a career at the IMF. In each succeeding year through 2008, scholarships were awarded to up to 15 scholars from Asian countries who had independently gained admission to a leading U.S. or Canadian university. The program covers tuition and reasonable costs for two years of study. Scholars are expected to finance the remaining years of study, typically through additional funding from their universities. The rules for awarding the scholarship changed in calendar year 2009. Starting with the 2009-11 group, only Japanese nationals are eligible for the JISP, with up to seven scholars receiving the award annually.

An annual orientation program for each incoming group of scholars is conducted at IMF headquarters in Washington, D.C., to introduce the scholars to the IMF and to provide them with an opportunity to meet other JISP scholars. At the end of the third or fourth year of study, scholars are expected to complete a 10- to 13-week summer internship in an IMF department, during which they engage in supervised research and other professional work under the guidance of an experienced IMF economist.

Due to the change in the scholarship’s rules and other factors, the number of applications received in 2008 for the 2009 program was lower than in the previous years. However, all applicants were of high quality in terms of both their academic record and graduate school examination scores. Additional steps to promote high-quality applicants included requiring two references and candidate interviews by IMF economists. It is expected that enhanced recruitment and application procedures will result in an increase in the number of quality applications received in future years.

Table 7.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies: Number of Scholars Accepted by Country, 1996-2009

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Starting in 2009, only Japanese nationals are eligible for the program.

While participating in the scholarship program, scholars are required to maintain high grades and good academic standing. The high academic standards of the program are now widely recognized, as evidenced by many distinguished universities in Japan and North America recommending that their students apply. Table 7 shows the distribution of scholars by country since the beginning of the scholarship program, and Table 8 lists the universities attended by the scholars and the number of scholars at each institution during the program.

Table 8.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies: Number of Scholars by University, 1996–2009

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A total of 85 scholars have graduated with PhD degrees in economics since the inception of the JISP, 20 of whom have joined the IMF staff. Of those 20 JISP alumni, 18 were hired through the highly competitive IMF Economist Program, which is the main entry point for economists seeking to join the organization after completion of their studies.

The IMF Institute, with the assistance of the Institute of International Education, has been conducting a yearly tracer study since 2004 to locate and obtain information on the professional career paths and profiles of past scholars, with contact information being updated annually. Table 9 shows the employment of graduates from the first 10 intakes-that is, academic years 1996-2005.23 Building on this, modifications were made to the 2007 and 2008 surveys to reach out to the JISP alumni for more up-to-date and accurate information, and to gain further information on how to improve the program. In response, an alumni website is being planned to extend the reach to past and current scholars to more effectively maintain contact information, share knowledge and experiences, and help promote the program to colleagues and friends. The annual JISP survey of past and current scholars continues to convey a high degree of satisfaction (92.6 percent in 2008) with the scholarship program and the internships.

Table 9.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies: Employment of Graduates from the 1996-2005 Programs1

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Data based on the results of scholar and alumni annual surveys. Scholars in groups starting after 2005 have not finished their doctoral programs yet.

One graduate from the 2000 program received a fixed-term appointment at the IMF in 2006.

In November 2008, for the first time, third-and fourth-year scholars were invited to the IMF’s Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference. Fifteen scholars attended the conference. The goal of this new initiative is to increase the contact between the IMF and JISP participants, and to strengthen their knowledge of IMF work and their interest in seeking employment at the Fund. Feedback received from the scholars who attended the conference was very positive and encouraging.

The IMF is pleased with the demonstrated success of the JISP, which is well regarded by officials of leading universities, who continue to report high academic achievements by the JISP scholars. Moreover, participating scholars have expressed great appreciation for the generous support of the government of Japan for their studies.

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    JSA Share of Financing of Capacity Building Delivered in the Field, FY2000-FY2009

    (In percent)

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    Annual Contributions by Japan for Technical Assistance, FY1990-FY2009

    (In millions of U.S. dollars)

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    JSA Annual Technical Assistance Commitments and Disbursements, FY1993-FY2009

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    Distribution of JSA Annual Technical Assistance Commitments by Region, FY2009

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    Distribution of JSA Technical Assistance Commitments by Subject Area, FY2009